Vicky Pryce trial

Vicky Pryce is on trial at Southwark Crown Court charged with perverting the course of justice.

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Pryce says she 'resisted' taking Huhne's penalty points

Pryce said Chris Huhne nominated her as the driver after his car was clocked speeding. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Chris Huhne's ex-wife Vicky Pryce has said she "resisted" taking his penalty points for speeding in 2003 because her then-husband "very often ignored speed limits" and had "brought it on himself".

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court, Pryce said Huhne asked her to take the points because he feared losing his licence would affect his burgeoning political career.

"I knew, of course, immediately that I had not driven the car and, of course, had not incurred the penalty," she said.

She said they argued for "a number of days" about the issue, but then it "went quiet".

Pryce wanted to expose 'Huhne's true character'

Chris Huhne's ex-wife confided in Isabel Oakeshott, political editor of The Sunday Times, about how he had got her to take his speeding points years before, a court heard.

Ms Oakeshott, said Vicky Pryce told her Huhne had pressurised her into taking the points, giving her a "fait accompli".

Ms Oakeshott, who first met Pryce by chance at the Liberal Democrat party conference in 2010, shortly after her marriage to Huhne had broken down, went on to work with the economist to get the story published.

Giving evidence at Pryce's trial at Southwark Crown Court today, Ms Oakeshott said that as the pair discussed publishing the story in email conversations, it was clear to her that Pryce wanted to expose what she saw as her former husband's wrongdoing.

Vicky was a very, very hurt woman and she was quite clear that she felt that Chris, her former husband, did not deserve to be in the position of immense responsibility that he had at that time.

I am very clear that she wanted to expose what she saw as his true character.


Trial of Chris Huhne's ex-wife to resume today

The trial Chris Huhne's ex-wife Vicky Pryce who is accused of perverting the course of justice claims she took speeding points for him in March 2003 resumes today.

Today, the political editor of the Sunday Times, Isabel Oakeshott will give evidence at Southwark Crown Court.

Vicky Pryce denies perverting the course of justice Credit: PA Wire

Jury hears conversations between Huhne and ex-wife

A court sketch has shown the jury at the Vicky Pryce trial today listening to audio of her conversations with her former Cabinet minister ex-husband Chris Huhne.

The 60-year-old is accused of taking speeding points for Huhne a decade ago.

Ms Pryce denies perverting the course of justice. The trial continues on Thursday.


Huhne 'did not fall' for Pryce plan

Andrew Edis QC said the jury will hear four phone calls between Pryce and Huhne that were recorded with the help of the Sunday Times in a "set up" to get him to admit the points swapping and prove the story.

Isabel Oakeshott is trying to get the story to stand up so it can go in the newspaper so nobody gets sued for libel or whatever.

The plan was that Pryce would phone her ex-husband, get him to admit the allegation, and it would all be recorded as evidence.

It is, in fact, a set up. Mr Huhne did not fall for it.

He denied repeatedly the suggestion that he had asked her to take any points and said that it was all ridiculous.

We know from what happened yesterday that when he was denying it he was doing that for the benefit, not of the truth, but for whoever might be listening to the telephone call.

He said Huhne was obviously aware of what was going on, and was being "manipulative" but said Pryce was also being manipulative by trying to get him to confess.

Pryce wanted newspaper story to 'bring Chris down'

The jury was told of an email exchange dating from March 1 2011 between Vicky Pryce and Sunday Times journalist Isabel Oakeshott in which they discussed how to publicise the points affair.

Ms Oakeshott suggested they do a number of pieces including news features and a story at the front of the paper, writing: "This is what I strongly recommend you do, given your dual objectives of bringing Chris down... without seriously damaging your own reputation in the process."

In a later email she warned Pryce of the danger of facing criminal proceedings if she did reveal that she took his penalty points, and that the newspaper was discussing the issue.

Former energy secretary Chris Huhne arrives at Southwark Crown Court. Credit: PA Wire

Pryce wrote: "I would need some reassurance that it would bring Chris down."

Later she added: "I have no doubt, as I really want to nail him. More than ever actually, and I would love to do it soon."

Ms Oakeshott later replied: "The bottom line is that this story will bring Chris down if you are prepared to go on the record, with the minor risk this carries.

"I think you can make yourself out to be very much the honourable one, saying it has very much been on your conscience ever since, saying you knew it was wrong but you were bullied into it."

Pryce wanted to 'destroy her husband's career'

Andrew Edis QC told the jury of eight women and four men:

It became public because Ms Pryce told a newspaper, actually more than one.

And she told the newspapers because by then, 2010/11, she had learned that Mr Huhne had been having an affair with somebody else and he, Mr Huhne, had told her, in a way which you may learn something about, that he did not want to be with Ms Pryce any more, it was over.

He said the ending of a long marriage in circumstances like that would undoubtedly be "a cause of immense distress to any wife, or husband come to that".

And there is no doubt at all that Ms Pryce was distressed. But there is also no doubt at all that she was not only distressed but extremely angry and she wanted some revenge.

And her revenge was in the end to pass the story about the 2003 crime to the newspapers so that it would be published in the end, that it would destroy her husband's career.

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